I'm finding it difficult to keep the Tooth Fairy legend alive...
When it's Christmastime, I'm all over it. The kids write letters to Santa, and I make sure there's (some) requests on there that will be met. On Christmas Eve we put out the milk and biscuits for Santa, and carrots on the front lawn for the reindeer; and the next morning the boys will discover just a drop of milk left in the glass, crumbs on the plate, and most of the carrot eaten. And any wrapped gifts from Santa will have different handwriting. It's all about the details.
The Tooth Fairy however...well, I'm struggling.
When the 8 year old lost his first tooth, we took to the tradition of leaving a $2 coin under the pillow. About three teeth in, however, he came to me in tears one morning crying, "MUUUUUM! The Tooth Fairy didn't cooooommme!"
I made an excuse about it being a very busy night in our area (backed up by the fact that his close friend, who lives nearby, had also lost his tooth the day before), and then I said we would look for the money. I quickly grabbed a $2 coin, and as I walked in to the 8yr old's bedroom, I encouraged him to search under his pillow one more time, and threw the coin down on his floor rug.
"Oh my goodness!" I exclaimed, pointing to the coin. "Is that it?!"
The 8yr old spun around and spotted the coin, and was over the moon. "Oh, she must have dropped it on the floor!" he reasoned. Indeed, she did.
"Yes," I replied. "Obviously, she was soooo busy, that she was rushing and accidentally dropped it. You see, that's why Mummy always says to take your time when you're doing things."
Yesterday, the 6yr old lost his first tooth. It started off on the wrong foot. He was eating breakfast at the time when he exclaimed, "Oh MUM! There's a gap in my mouth!" He opened his mouth, feeling away where his wobbly tooth had been moments earlier, and sure enough, there was the gap.
"YAY!" I exclaimed. "That's great, honey!" And then, "Oh...but where is your tooth?"
He thought about it a second or two, then he lowered his head, and trying to hold back the tears, he said softly, "I think I swallowed it."
He had. The tooth was nowhere to be found. We cleaned him up and within 5 minutes he was laughing again with his brothers, assured by the fact that the tooth fairy would still come - we'd just write a note.
And so I wrote the following:
We folded it up, and placed it under his pillow.
Last night, I reminded myself a number of times to put the gold coin under the 6yr old's pillow. Morning arrived and the 6yr old came in. "Mum," he said quietly, "The tooth fairy didn't come."
Fortunately, he was rather calm about the whole thing. I was half asleep, and struggled to think quickly. "Let's go check again," I said. "I'll just be a minute." As the 6yr old left the room, I frantically searched the room for a $2 coin. I found many, many $1 coins, but that would not do. The 8yr old always received $2 coins. How would the 6yr old feel getting his tooth money at a reduced rate? And two $1 coins? Nup. That would make too much noise in my hand as I entered the room.
Finally, I found a $2 coin and walked in to the 6yr old's room with a plan. Unfortunately, the 8yr old was way ahead of me. He was checking the inside of the pillow slip. Bummer. That was my plan. I was going to reach in to the pillow slip, coin in hand, and remove it, exclaiming, "Oh look! Here it is! The tooth fairy accidentally slipped it in to the pillow case!"
I had no other option, and I was afraid the whole throwing-the-coin-on-the-floor-rug trick might be suspicious the second time around. I distracted both boys, slipped it in the pillow case and said to the 6yr old, "Let's give the pillow slip a good shake!" I took out the pillow, shook the pillow slip and whaddya you know? Out came the coin. Phew.
The 6yr old bought it. I don't know if I'm being paranoid or not, but I get the impression the 8yr old wasn't convinced. Fortunately, no one asked me why the note was still folded under the pillow. I had planned to say something like, "I'm sure the tooth fairy would think it a nice memento of your first lost tooth," or the like. Ahem.
I don't know why, but I just struggle with the whole Tooth Fairy legend. It's awkward, isn't it? Some parents give 20 cents, some give five bucks! How do I justify that to my kids? When it comes to Christmas presents, I can always reason with the boys that Santa assesses what they have, and don't have, and will take it from there. But why does the Tooth Fairy vary his/her amounts from house to house?
In any case, I need to brush up on my Tooth Fairy skills. Otherwise, imagine how bad they'll be by the time the 3yr old starts losing his teeth?!